Skindred: Volume

Ragga metal is their business. Business is good

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After five albums and an endless stream of superlatives used for their live shows, you know exactly what you’re going to get from Skindred.

Having forged an inimitable lane with their reggae-meets-metal mashup, it’s a safe bet that sixth full-length, Volume, will contain the required level of raucous anthems ready for unleashing on venues and festival fields across the globe.

Though it may lack the consistent slickness of Union Black or the immediacy of last year’s Kill The Power, there are still plenty of trademark moments that only a Dickensian miser would fail to get excited about. Benji Webbe’s irrepressible personality is all over the bounce of the title track, delivering hard-hitting lyrical punches and vocal hooks at will, while Mikey dips into his bag of tricks with the strut and punch of Shut Ya Mouth and rollicking jaunt of Stand Up.

The demented wail of Straight Jacket is one of the most stealthily infectious tracks in the band’s arsenal, and the addition of full-time DJ Dan Sturgess is apparent in the increased scratching and electronic stabs of Under Attack’s funky sway and metallic bombast and bassy rumble of Sound The Siren. Nearly two decades in, they’re still making it look easy.

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.